Fresh off a semifinal appearance at the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team reached the quarterfinals at the Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston. Driver Todd Veney knocked off defending champ Jay Payne in the first round of eliminations and fouled against No. 1 qualifier and eventual runner-up Annie Whiteley in the quarterfinals.
“It really would have been nice to upset the No. 1 qualifier two times in a row,” said Veney, who knocked off Steve Harker in the first round in Charlotte. “She had low e.t. of every round and would have been hard to beat no matter what, but you never want to hand it over like that.”
The Follow A Dream team qualified No. 8 with a 5.650 at 253 mph and drew Payne, who qualified No. 7 with an almost identical 5.649, coincidentally on the same qualifying run that Veney ran the 5.649. Payne smoked the tires right off the line in the first round, and Veney advanced with a run almost identical to his best qualifying time, 5.657, also at 253 mph.
From Houston, Blake and teammate Ed Parker are headed to the Lafayette, Ind., shop of chassis builder Murf McKinney to pick up a brand-new body, the first Camaro Funny Car in drag racing. “We’re really excited about the Camaro,” Blake said. “We’re going straight from Indiana to North Carolina to put the car in the wind tunnel, then to New Jersey to have it painted in Permatex colors.”
The next race is an East Regional May 23-24 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., where last year the team reached the final against eventual world champ Frank Manzo.